Admin shakeup after exec resigns

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By Lori Fazari 

Ryerson’s executive administration has undergone a shakeup.

The school’s board of governors approved a new vice-president’s position in development, 10 days after the directors of the university’s advancement officer resigned.

In addition, the portfolios of Ryerson’s three existing v.p.s were restructured this month.

During the in camera session of their board meeting this past Monday, Ryerson’s board of governors voted on a motion to appoint a new vice president, who would oversee university development, alumni and external affairs.

The motion, a copy of which was obtained by The Eyeopener, states the school’s goal is to have the new position filled by May 1999.  The board passed the resolution.

“The creation of a new vice-president’s role has been a function of the fact we had a resignation in that area,” said Linda Grayson, Ryerson’s v.p. administration and student affairs.

On Sept. 17, 10 days before Ryerson’s board voted on creating the new position, Bob Crow tendered his resignation from his job as executive director of the Office of University Advancement.  Crow was responsible for overseeing the school’s development, fundraising, alumni, marketing and communications.

Crow’s three-year contract as executive director of advancement was not up until April 30, 1999, but he said discussions with administration about leaving his post were happening off and on since last spring.

Crow said there were disagreements between himself and Ryerson’s administration but he and administration mutually agreed on his resignation.  “We probably saw eye-to-eye on 99 per cent of things, but in this line of work you have to see eye-to-eye on 100 per cent.”

Crow said issues of concern included his approach to fundraising, which the school and other such institutions are eyeing as a way of making up for cuts in government funding, and the speed with which initiatives were completed.

“My position was if you do the marketing right and the positioning right, fundraising will follow,” Crow said.  The school wanted Crow’s work to go “Faster, if I could, and that’s just speculation,” he added.

Having three years to complete what he set out to do as executive director was limiting, Crow said.  “Ryerson is extraordinarily well-positioned to attract students, to attract faculty, and frankly, to attract donors.”  What’s needed is to “Follow through, invest,” he said.

Crow, who has held several administrative positions in his 23 years at Ryerson, also left his spot in the school of urban and regional planning, where he was a tenured part-time professor.  Neither he nor Michael Dewson, Ryerson’s v.p. faculty affairs, would reveal how this and his contracts as a part-time professor were settled.

Ian Marlatt, formerly director public affairs and marketing communications, took over as interim executive director of university advancement.

The new v.p. position would likely replace Crow’s former job, said Dewson.

“The fact that [Crow] is leaving clearly provides an opportunity to look at the whole organizational structure,” Dewson said.  “The idea is to increase the profile and the role of this position.”

Crow said he’s positive about his time at Ryerson.  “I love Ryerson and this wasn’t easy,” Crow said, but “at the end of the day I feel good about it.”

Crow’s office wasn’t the only one that received a change of structure this month.  The positions of Ryerson’s three other v.p.s were re-aligned, so that Dewson, formerly v.p. faculty and staff affairs, will report to v.p. academic Dennis Mock, as of Oct. 1.

Since the v.p. faculty affairs is reporting to another v.p., the name of Dewson’s position may change, likely to associate v.p., after consultations with all parties involved, Dewson said.

His role is not decreasing, though.  “The idea was to have this portfolio have a much more academic focus rather than have it spread over administrative lines,” said Dewson whose contract was extended four months until the end of 1999.

“My portfolio will focus on all faculty and instructor issues such as labour issues, collective bargaining, faculty development and renewal, working with the various kinds of teaching and support systems.”

Grayson’s portfolio will now include more administrative duties, including human resources, health and safety, and security.

“The organizational structure we’re moving towards here is much more common at other universities,” said Dewson.

All three v.p.s said the restructuring has no effect on their pay, and all will continue to report to president Claude Lajeunesse.

Lajeunesse was at meetings off-campus and was unavailable for comment.

Grayson said the v.p.’s revamped portfolios are in line with Lajeunesse’s vision statement for the university tabled last October, which outlined goals of making administration more responsive, efficient and accountable.

“We think this is going to improve the quality of what we do,” Grayson said.

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